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Tip: The Library has free resources on all aspects of career planning and job hunting.

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Brattleboro’s unemployment rate currently stands at 7.1% , and many of us have begun the unpleasant process of looking for a new job during an economic downturn. If you find yourself in this predicament, why not stop by the library? We have some fantastic resources that will make your search for the perfect job that much easier.

Interested in making a career change but don’t know where to begin? The library has several guides on hand, including Richard Nelson Bolles’ What color is your parachute? (331.1 BOL) and Laurence G. Boldt’s Zen and the art of making a living: a practical guide to creative career design (650.14 BOL). A subject search for “career development” and/or “career change” will help you locate others.

If you do have a clear sense of what careers interest you but need more concrete information about them (such as educational requirements, average wages, and current demand), you should swing by Reference and take a look at the Occupational outlook handbook (REF 371.42 OCC). The handbook, which can also be accessed online at http://www.bls.gov/OCO/, is produced by the U.S. Department of Labor and has detailed data on countless professions.

In Reference you will also find The guide to basic resume writing (REF 650.14 GUI). Other resume guides can be checked out of the library, and can be located by doing a subject search for “resumes.” If you don’t have access to a personal computer, you can use one of the library’s computers to type up your resume. Just click on the “resume” option at the start-up page, and be sure to bring a flash drive so that you can save your work!

Looking for places to send your resume? Reference USA, a database available at the library (or from home using your library card), has a searchable business database that provides business names and addresses. You can limit your search to Brattleboro businesses by doing a custom search by city.

Now it’s time to improve your interviewing skills. A subject search for “employment interviewing” will list the library’s books on this topic. There are also two DVDs that can be borrowed: Interviewing for a job (DVD 650.14 INT) and The virtual job interview (DVD 6501.14 VIR).

There will also be times during your search when you are in need of encouragement. Lynn Joseph’s The job-loss recovery guide: a proven program for getting back to work—fast! (155.9 JOS) may be just the ticket. And of course, the reference staff is more than happy to assist with questions you encounter during the job seeking process.

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